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Smartphone as Practice


Quick post this time. Did you know surfa is a verb in Swedish? Now we both do.

I caught a ride home from Swedish class last night, and I was killing time along the way on my phone -- surfing , looking up some words which were on the tip of my tongue during class, that sort of thing. Then I had a moment of clarity.

I've been using Swedish and English side-by-side on my phone for six months or so. Windows Phone 10 is very smooth in this regard. A swipe left or right on the space bar switches the active language for the keyboard (so you have ä, å, and ö handy), word prediction, and spell checking. (Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft. I assume that iPhone and Android have comparable options.)

However, I hadn't made Swedish the primary language on my phone itself. Making the switch is what finally occurred to me last night. I surely wasn't ready to switch last October, when I first added Swedish to my phone as an available language. Yesterday though, the moved seemed obvious. I've had the phone for a year, and the few words I don't know, I can figure out from context. Having that context is much better for comprehension and memorization than encountering a word in isolation. Just using the phone is now itself a form of practice.

So keep an eye out for the moment when you're ready to cut over to Swedish on your phone or tablet.


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